Friday, April 15, 2011

#30DaysofBiking: Tote Bag Anarchist

I go out to pick up a few things from the grocery store. It's early, so I swing by the coffee shop for a muffin and a cup of ambition. I have a well-insulated thermal cup that I like to think is better for the planet than throwing away a paper cup every day. I ride my bike instead of driving and I've got my fold up tote bag to carry groceries. These are little things but I try to be a small part of the solution or at least a smaller part of the problem.

At the coffee shop, thanks to free wifi, twitter and my minidroid, I read this story and realize I'm some sort of enemy of the state. A woman in NYC has been ticketed for hanging a tote bag off the handlebars of her bike. She could drive her kids to school in an SUV while smoking like a chimney and the state would have no cause to question her behavior. If, while driving, she happened to run over a bicyclist or a pedestrian she could say those magic words "I didn't see him" and probably escape any punishment. But riding with a tote bag? That's serious. We can't have anarchy in the streets.

No, we have something worse than anarchy, we have an ordered system that is seriously out of order. When order goes insane, perhaps it's time for some sane anarchy. Turning a pedal instead of pushing a gas pedal is a revolutionary act. Count me on the side of the revolutionaries.

I go the store, buy my groceries, proudly drape my tote bag over my handlebars and ride home. I'm a tote bag anarchist and I'm not alone.

Keep 'em rolling,

Kent "Mountain Turtle" Peterson
Issaquah WA USA
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